Happy Sunday, everybody! I’m trying something new today with a vlog review of Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies.
This video review contains spoilers. If you haven’t read the book yet (or you prefer reading to watching), skip on past the video to read a quickie review. And please let me know in the comments if videos are something you’d like to see more of!
A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.
R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.
Warm Bodies totally upends the little I know about the zombie genre. Zombies are so frightening because they are soulless, too filled with infection to be saved. They don’t have feelings or thoughts, and don’t experience the world as anything but an obstacle course between them and their prey.
But a zombie that has dreams, thoughts, and enjoys music…to me that’s more frightening, because that means there’s a chance that, deep down, the “what” is somehow still a “who” — they’re redeemable, able to be saved…human.
I shot the video review a few days ago, and at that time I hadn’t been able to decide if I liked this book or not; even now I’m not willing to state one way or the other. But the fact that I’m still thinking and talking about it means that it’s struck a chord somewhere, and that’s what I love most about reading.
“ ‘Yes. The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest known works of literature. Humanity’s debut novel, you could say.’ Rosso flips through the brittle yellow pages. ‘Love, sex, blood, and tears. A journey to find eternal life. To escape death.’ He reaches across the table and hands the book to me. ‘It was written over four thousand years ago on clay tablets by people who tilled the mud and rarely lived past forty. It’s survived countless wars and disasters, and plagues, and continues to fascinate to this day, because here I am, in the midst of this modern ruin, reading it.’ ” (p. 139)
“Why am I doing this? Why do I want to know the names and functions of all the beautiful structures I’ve spent my years violating? Because I don’t deserve to keep them anonymous. I want the pain of knowing them, and by extension myself: who and what I really am. Maybe with that scalpel, red-hot and sterilized in tears, I can begin to carve out the rot inside me.” (p. 141)
Let me know what you think about Warm Bodies (and the vlog review) in the comments!